Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

Summary:Two of the biggest OEMs in the Android space are losing sales to Samsung, showing it is the company to beat.

Android has grown rapidly as a platform due to the number of companies adopting the platform and churning out one device after another. The huge number of Android device activations has allowed the major OEMS, HTC, Samsung, and Motorola, to have good financials for a while. The latest financials from these OEMs indicate that may be slowing down, with HTC and Motorola losing sales to Samsung.

Analysts usually compare Android to iOS in the platform wars, but with a lot of companies using the former it doesn't mean everyone is making good profits. Profit is the name of the game after all, as Apple is clear to remind us at every opportunity.

HTC has been making money the past two years, but its recent financial forecast is slowing down dramatically. It reported quarterly profit dropped a whopping 26 percent, due to slower sales of handsets.

Motorola Mobility, aka Google-to-be, reported that holiday sales were flat (actually down in the quarter) and it only expects "modest profitability". Google is in the process of buying Motorola Mobility, so this can't be good news for the platform maker.

Sales and profitability in Android may be down for those big two OEMs, but Samsung has picked up the slack for them. The company has reported a record quarter, with profits up 22 percent over last quarter. Samsung will post a whopping $4.5 billion in profits this quarter, obviously grabbing sales from both HTC and Motorola Mobility in the process.

It's easy to get caught up in the platform wars, and lump all Android players in the same sales basket, but this is not proper. Each company using Android is in essence competing with the others, in addition to the other platforms.

The big uptick in sales and profitability for Samsung makes it clear why Apple has chosen to make the company the target for its unflagging patent wars. It is obvious Apple viewed Samsung as the Android company to be most concerned with, a strategy that now looks correct.

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Topics: Mobility, Google, Samsung


James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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